Should designers code?


Or should we leave it to developers?


I always thought devs were gods of code, including css. But I’ve seen many that don’t like it or feel uncomfortable with it. They have always liked it when I handle them code, specially for layout purposes. Also I could prevent design-related bugs and if I have access to the codebase, I can constantly apply adjustments or fix any other mistake I did.


Everyone should code.

There are so many resources to learn from like, stackoverflow, lynda…
Pick a tutorial that interests you and spend the weekend playing with code.
Coding skills help designers in many ways too like writing actions and animations with scripts.

You can never have too many skills.


Hi let me answer the question, with a question:

  • How can we create apps for bankers if we don’t understand finance…
  • How can we create for developers… without understanding code, infrastructure, data relationships, load time, app versions, git etc?

It’s unprofessional to simply chuck the designs over the wall and hope that the developers pick it up well. Speak their language, and it’ll go a long way. (That doesn’t mean you have to physically code!)



I would add to this, that understanding at least basic notions of coding and technical principals behind the platforms we design for, doesn’t only facilitate communication between designers and developers, but also allows to create better design solutions. Sometimes, designing a better user experience means re-designing the way the back end system works and to get to see the places that may need to be improved, one needs to understand where to look and be able to see it.


Depends. I do think that designers that have an understanding of what it takes to code will produce better designs.

For example, if they want to do a special functionality but know it will take a long time to code, then being able to adjust on the spot will lead to faster implementation and greater ROI.


I would encourage designers to have a basic understanding of code. I’m not expecting all the languages but something to start with like html and css. Then to move on from there - an existing responsive framework like Foundation or bootstrap.

Having said that,I’ve seen so many jobs advertised where they want a UX/UI/full stack dev/researcher all rolled into one. Not everyone has the time to master all of these disciplines.


“Should UX designers code” is one of the most controversial debates in the UX industry. :slight_smile:

My thoughts: You don’t have to know how to code to be an effective UX designer. But you can benefit greatly if you learn how to code.

The benefits of knowing how to code:

  • You have a deeper understanding of the medium you’re designing for.
  • You have a shared language with the technical members of your team, including front-end developers and back-end developers.
  • You can hand-code a prototype without having to rely on prototyping tools.

You don’t HAVE to code to be an effective UX designer. I know many UX designers with great careers who don’t know how to code.

If you do learn how to code, you’ll likely see benefits in your work and in your career.

I wrote a blog post about this topic a few years ago: “Learning to Code Gives You Advantages as a UX Designer


The question is kinda clickbait-ish.

To add nuance: If you’re primarily a visual designer, designing for websites and web applications, you should know what HTML and CSS and JS are capable of at the very least.

But I would say, even without coding, designers have to get away from the idea of the pixel perfect static mockup.

Modern user interfaces, either for the web or for native mobile operating systems, are based on reusable, modular code. This should lead designers to start thinking about designs in an atomic fashion.

UIs may be adapted to suit the user’s needs - zoom, contrast, screen reader compatibility; this also leads away from ‘perfect’ designs and towards the idea of flows and interactions.

Designs need to support a broad array of screen sizes, so that should lead designers away from doing time-consuming, expensive and misleading static mockups in Photoshop, and towards creating flexible design systems. Elements, components, guides, rules.

Whether or not the designer can execute these things in code, if they understand code, they will help create a set of useful tools for coders, and that is ultimately more valuable, especially if you are designing large-scale sites / things that need to scale in ways you can’t predict right now.


If you’re designing for web and don’t understand the restrictions and quirks of responsive design, you’re going to be a pain the neck for whoever gets your wireframes or comps.


Should coders design?